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Chlorine in dense interstellar clouds - The abundance of HCl in OMC-1
Blake, G. A.; Keene, J.; Phillips, T. G.
AA(California Institute of Technology, Pasadena), AB(California Institute of Technology, Pasadena), AC(California Institute of Technology, Pasadena)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 295, Aug. 15, 1985, p. 501-506. (ApJ Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Astronomical Spectroscopy, Chlorine, Hydrochloric Acid, Interstellar Chemistry, Interstellar Gas, Molecular Clouds, Abundance, Emission Spectra, Optical Thickness
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The first detection of a chlorine-bearing molecular species in the interstellar medium via emission from the J = 1-0 transition of HCl at 625.9 GHz toward OMC-1 is reported. The relative strengths, widths, and velocities of the resolved hyperfine components are consistent with moderate optical depth emission originating from dense, quiescent molecular cloud material. The overall emission strength implies a fractional abundance of f(HCl/H2) of about (0.5-5.0) x 10 to the -8th, depending on the density of the emitting region. This is approximately an order of magnitude below previous theoretical estimates and a factor of 3-30 below the cosmic abundance of Cl. Recent laboratory work suggests that the lowered fractional abundance of HCl is caused by a combination of depletion onto grains with gas-phase loss processes such as the reaction of HCl with C(+).

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